R54,2m for king’s palaces

2014-08-13 00:00

PREMIER Senzo Mchunu yesterday revealed that more refurbishments needed to be done at palaces of King Goodwill Zwelithini, after R32 million was already spent in the last financial year.

Tabling the R54,2 million budget for the Royal Household Department, Mchunu said the R32 million, which was exclusively allocated for this purpose, was fully used. He said the interior renovation to the king’s house and water reticulation at Dlamahlahla palace were completed.

“Other projects which were part of the plan but could not be implemented due to budgetary constraints include exterior renovations to the king’s house, paving and construction of new guest house,” he said.

Water reticulation, roadworks and renovations to the king’s house at KwaKhetha palace were, however, completed.

“There is still a lot to be done in this palace if budget could be made available,” the premier added.

The Lindizulu palace has had its roads repaired, storm water drainage system and car ports constructed, as well as installation of a generator.

While acknowledging the outstanding refurbishments, Mchunu did not make specific allocations for the individual palaces. However, he said R9 million was allocated for overall maintenance of the royal household infrastructure, including palace refurbishments. A total of R42,2 million has been allocated for support services to the royal family and a further R2,9 million for the royal farms.

ANC’s Vuyelwa Tambo called on the office of the premier to check if the money spent on the renovation was indeed utilised on its intended purpose.

She added that the royal family should look into finding other sources of funding rather than “depend on government handout only”.

The IFP’s Blessed Gwala demanded a report on the action taken against officials who were implicated in maladministration of funds allocated to the royal family a few years ago.

Mchunu promised that a report would be made available to the legislature.

There is still a lot to be done in this palace if budget could be made available.

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